PT/OT Tilt and Recline in Pediatric Mobility March 06, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
We know that there are over fifteen body functions and body structures affected by the orientation of an adaptive seating system. So needless to say, when setting up such a seating system for a child with disabilities, it’s important to get it right. That task falls on the child’s therapist or ATP. Successful positioning and functional results depends on thoroughly understanding the...
PT/OT Survey Results: Building a Case for Dynamic Seating July 26, 2016 by Lori Potts, PT
Occupational therapist Michelle Lange recently conducted a survey on dynamic seating. Her questions focused on wheelchairs that have dynamic components integrated into or added to the design. Over 100 clinicians and suppliers responded and it’s clear that we’re seeing an increased appreciation for dynamic adaptive equipment for children and clients with unique positioning needs. Michelle...
PT/OT Studying Neurodevelopmental Disorders with the Rifton Activity Chair November 12, 2015 by Elena Noble, MPT
From school classrooms to radiology departments to hospital feeding clinics, the Rifton Activity Chair meets a range of positioning needs in a variety of environments. Recently we learned of yet another clinical setting where the Activity Chair has found a niche: in the study of neurodevelopmental disorders at the UC Davis MIND Institute, an internationally respected research facility. Here, the...
PT/OT Benefits of Adaptive Seating Beyond the Wheelchair January 26, 2015 by Terri Oxender, OTR/L, ATP
Wheelchair seating and positioning is a frequent source of frustration for parents. I often hear that the wheelchair just doesn’t work well in the home. It is too low to use at the table for meals or homework but it sits too tall for their child to be at the same height as their friends. Or I hear complaints about maneuverability in the home. But perhaps the most important complaint I hear is this:...
PT/OT Teaching Active Sitting Skills January 19, 2015 by Elena Noble, MPT
As therapists we generally like to distinguish between active and passive sitting. Active sitting refers to dynamic positioning of the trunk and extremities over a stabilized pelvis for the purpose of completing a task. Active sitting is the posture we use for eating, learning and participation because it is a posture of alertness and purpose, relying heavily on the strength and sustained functioning of...
PT/OT Optimal Positioning with Adaptive Seating for the Child with Cerebral Palsy August 05, 2014 by Lori Potts, PT
Cerebral Palsy is a result of abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. For children with cerebral palsy, their muscle control, coordination, and posture will be affected to varying degrees by this faulty development or damage to areas of their brain. Cerebral Palsy affects approximately three out of every 1,000 children, and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical...
PT/OT Stabilizing the Pelvis with the Rifton Pelvic Harness April 29, 2014 by Lori Potts, PT
Why do we need to stabilize the pelvis when sitting? To answer this, we need to understand hip and pelvis anatomy and the involved kinesiology. First, given the ball and socket nature of the hip joint, significant degrees of motion are available. The hip joint can move from being in a position of entire stability or “closed-packed” positioning to one of mobility, called the “open...
PT/OT The Importance of Head Positioning with Adaptive Seating April 08, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
Positioning a person with severe disabilities in a seated posture for functional activities requires matching body functions and structures with available seating and positioning technology.  With the wide variety of adaptive equipment available today, positioning for function has been made easier. This type of technology allows us to position a child in space for pressure relief, create a stable...
PT/OT Correct Positioning in the Rifton Activity Chair February 25, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
The Rifton Activity Chair was designed to encourage functional and active sitting postures for children with cognitive and physical disabilities. Because such children can present with a wide variety of diagnoses and positioning requirements, helping them participate in classroom or family activities can be tough, but with the right chair it’s possible. The Rifton Activity Chair, because of its...
PT/OT Feeding Chairs for Children with Special Needs April 16, 2013 by Lori Potts, PT
Therapists, teachers and parents are well aware that children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities can face more challenges (and pose more challenges) than the average child. This can be particularly true during mealtimes. Feeding problems commonly associated with disability include dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and gastro-intestinal reflux (spitting up frequently) as well as oral...
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